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BRASÍLIA: Brazil's inflation rate leapt in August in the latest sign of trouble for Latin America's biggest economy, whose pandemic recovery is taking a hit from high unemployment and fears of electricity shortages.

The annual inflation rate rose 0.69 points to 9.68 percent, said national statistics institute IBGE -- far above the central bank's target ceiling of 5.25 percent.

The monthly inflation rate meanwhile came in at 0.87 percent, the highest for August since 2000.

The biggest price increases came from the transport sector, hit by a 31-percent increase in gasoline prices on the year, and two sectors suffering from a severe drought: food and electricity.

Brazil is suffering the worst drought in nearly a century in the southeast and central west, key regions for the agricultural sector and the hydroelectric dams the country depends on for two-thirds of its electricity.

Brazil inflation hits multi-year high

Unemployment is meanwhile stubbornly high at 14.1 percent.

The indicators are bad news for far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who is up for re-election next year and was hoping for a strong rebound from 2020's Covid-19 chaos.

Brazil's economy grew a promising 1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2021, but then contracted 0.1 percent in the second.

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